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Group to DOT: defer partnership with Grab on tourist service

Digital Pinoys

A network of digital advocates called on to the Department of Tourism to defer its plan to partner with TNVS monopoly Grab.

Digital Pinoys national campaigner Ronald Gustilo said that DOT should put the plan on hold until they convince major tourism stakeholders to join the program.

“Among of the major players in the tourism industry are the tour agencies and tour guides. Without them, DOT will have a hard time to promote Philippine tourism. It is of utmost importance that DOT should first prioritize existing tourist transport services and tour providers before entertaining Grab.”

Recently, the DOT announced that they have partnered with TNVS monopoly Grab to use their drivers as tour guides. The announcement was met with backlash from tourism stakeholders. According to several news reports, this forced the tourism department and Grab to abruptly call for a consultation with affected stakeholders.

Gustilo added that the partnership should not push through until DOT requires Grab drivers to undergo the certification process for tourism transport service so that DOT can gauge and ensure their capability to handle tourists.

“DOT has a procedure that requires drivers to undergo trainings to be certified as a tourist transport service. Grab should not be exempted from these trainings and DOT should ensure that the drivers are not just qualified to drive but also qualified to handle tourists.”

Gustilo added that the DOT should ensure that overpricing of fare and tourist tour rates will not occur, citing Grab’s record of overcharging Grabcar passengers.

“Grab has a history of overcharging and was even penalized by the LTFRB and PCC. DOT should ensure that this will not happen to Grab tour services. They should closely monitor the performance of Grab, including its fare, service quality and safety of the tourists as it will heavily affect the image of the Philippines.”

Reference: Ronald Gustilo, Digital Pinoys National Campaigner, [email protected]